Andrea Gibson, supervisor of compliance and quality control for CREB®, says picking a Realtor involves a number of factors, such as personality, specialization and services. Photo by Jesse Yardley / For CREB®Now

How to pick a REALTOR®

Eighteen questions you should ask a Realtor before hiring

Buying or selling a home is likely the biggest transaction people will make in their lives.

For example, the average MLS® System sale price in Calgary, as of the end of April, was close to half a million dollars.

Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, finding the right REALTOR® can be a daunting task. There are many to choose from; CREB® has more than 5,400 registered Realtors serving Calgary and surrounding areas. It’s important to select a Realtor who can meet your needs, especially when you consider the stakes.

So if you’re selling your home or buying a new one, how do you choose a Realtor with so many options available?

Andrea Gibson, supervisor of compliance and quality control for CREB®, says it is important for people to do their homework.

“I think a lot of people start the classic Internet route where they’re searching and it depends on the kind of property they have. If they have a home in Airdrie, they might want to search for someone who’s done a lot of sales in Airdrie. It comes from a lot of different places,” she said. “There’s also word of mouth. You talk to friends and family.”

I think a lot of people start the classic Internet route where they’re searching and it depends on the kind of property they have. If they have a home in Airdrie, they might want to search for someone who’s done a lot of sales in Airdrie. It comes from a lot of different places. There’s also word of mouth. You talk to friends and family.

Gibson recommends people interview a few professionals before making a decision because it’s not just their experience you are seeking out. You will work very closely with a Realtor and sometimes give them some very intimate and confidential details of your life.

“Sometimes it’s their personality and how they will work with you and how comfortable you feel with them,” she said. “It’s usually the biggest decision that people make, to buy a home in particular, so you have to feel comfortable with that person.

“There are different business models out there,” she added, noting the diversity of commission structures and services being offered by Realtors.

According to the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) website, here are some questions you should consider asking realtors in an interview:

  • how long have you been in the business?
  • do you have a job other than as a real estate professional?
  • how many buyers did you represent last year
  • what services will you provide to me?
  • what geographic areas do you serve?
  • do you specialize in certain property types?
  • how will you search for my new home?
  • how do you handle multiple offers?
  • how do you present my offer to the seller?
  • what are the top three things that separate you from your competition?
  • are you working as part of a team or will I always deal directly with you?
  • how do you get paid?
  • how much do you charge for your services?
  • will you work for me exclusively, not the seller?
  • how do you handle conflicts of interest?
  • will you do a property evaluation on the home I want to buy?
  • how do you keep me informed?
  • how many clients do you work with at any one time?

After a real estate professional has been chosen, the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) says one of the first things a Realtor should show consumers is the organization’s Consumer Relationships Guide – a “mandatory document, which real estate professionals must provide to, and discuss with, consumers they’re working with.

“The guide is intended to help you understand your legal relationship with your real estate professional.”

 

One thought on “How to pick a REALTOR®

  1. We’ve been looking for homes for sale for a while now, and I think we could really use the help of a realtor! I really liked your question to ask about what services an agent will provide along with finding you homes for sale. I’m going to have to show this to my wife and she can help me choose the best realtor to help us find potential homes for sale!

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